Step by step, climbing Cerro Colorado is an interesting option to test your energy and discover new sensations in the midst of nature.
Mountain trekking is a popular activity and, in San Martín de los Andes
, Cerro Colorado
(Mount Red) is one of the most visited either to reach the summit or as training for more demanding ascents.
A group of enthusiasts gathered at the foot of the Colorado, led by ‘Palito’ Gatica, who would guide us to the summit at an easy pace while enjoying the good weather conditions. The mount is right opposite Piedra de Trompul
, an emblematic rocky promontory about 800 meters MSL in Mapuche territory.
Before setting off, ‘Palito’ had told us there are several possible ascents and that we would take the one beginning at a little wood next to the route. In December, the bright red flowers of the blooming Chilean firetrees are an added attraction.
Its volcanic origin is evident in its conic, red summit which can easily be spotted from afar.
We headed towards the stream flowing down Cerro Colorado
in search of the path on the right slope of the ravine to start our ascent. It would take us two hours and a half at a medium pace to climb the 1,000 meters from the foot to the summit.
As we trekked through a lenga
wood, we noticed that at first the tree trunks were firm and straight but as we went higher they became twisted and stunted. When we reached 1,500 meters MSL, they were really scrubby as they bear the weight of continuous snowfall.
In autumn the leaves of the lenga
turn bright red and copper, coloring the mountain and providing an ideal landscape to contemplate or photograph.
Near the summit, we encountered some snowy patches which we traversed without any trouble. If climbing is attempted in October or November, gaiters, waterproof ski trousers and poles will be necessary (the latter may be replaced by canes picked up along the trail).
When we reached the summit we confirmed that the ground is really bright red volcanic stone. What can we say about the view: the impressive Lake Lácar on one side and Lolog on the other framed by the unbelievable Andes Mountain Range and its snow-capped peaks.
The wind prevented us from staying very long, but long enough to sing a song we had prepared for the occasion and to take the typical photos to share our adventure with our friends and relatives.
The same trail led us down and, before heading back to the city, we spent some time chatting about the wonderful day we had shared. It took us five hours to trek up and down the mountain.
Although we could feel the effort in our bodies, we also carried the perfume of the vegetation on our clothes. ‘Palito’s enticing technical talk persuaded us to go on a future outing.